The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

On the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with Samira from Berlin

On the bus from Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, Israel, to Amman Jordan with...

Wednesday, August 30. Amman, Jordan. I met Samira, a German from Berlin, in my hostel room. She was traveling to Ramallah in the West Bank to study Arabic. As I was headed back to Amman via Jerusalem, we traveled together to Jerusalem. Samira's half Arab and half Croatian. After finishing her graduate degree in travel management, she decided to spend six months in the Ramallah to study Arabic. I have met many other travelers studying Arabic, particularly Danish in Damascus, Syria.

In Jerusalem, Samira continued on to Ramallah while I caught a bus to the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, reversing my route back to Amman. At the crossing, I met Vanessa, a French woman from Paris. Vanessa was also in the Middle East to study Arabic. She was still deciding where to study, with her top choices being Beirut or Bethlehem. Her Arabic helped us get the cheapest bus to Amman from the border (2 J.D.)

Although I only had a single entry visa into Jordan (obtained at the border with Syria), the Jordan authorities permit travelers to visit Israel from Jordan and reenter Jordan on the same visa. Upon my request, both the Jordan and Israeli authorities were kind enough to not stamp my passport, preserving my opportunity to travel to Middle East countries that do not permit entry to visitors who have evidence of prior travel to Israel in their passport. Instead, they each provided stamps on separate pieces of paper. Israel also asked me to cough up 135 shekels ($30) for the privilege of leaving.

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